What a great year it has been for strong male acting. I wouldn't want to be betting on the Oscars this year (but I will anyway). Both McConaughey and Leto are stellar, with Leto being a real stand-out for me. Some intense scenes there. Jennifer Garner seems really out of her element being in a fantastic movie instead of a subpar TV series. She's the only thing that detracted a bit for me to bump this by a point. Her performance is fine on an absolute basis but putting her into scenes with such strong performances makes it really noticeable. Hillary Swank, for example, would have been boss in this role.
Lots of layers to this movie which is based on a true story so I can't credit the screenwriters with coming up with all the various evolutions that happen in this flick. It is a great story and finely brought to life by talented actors with strong direction. It is a great partnership (professional) between Jean-Marc Vallee and McConaughey
There are some amazing scenes of what it was like having AIDS during that time period and the public's visceral reaction to it. It made me think for a moment about how bad it must be to have had AIDS back then and then I realized that was probably the stupidest thought I've had all year.
It's a fantastic film and I'm still affected by it.